Last month I attended a meeting where the topic of communication came up again and again. The Iowa Falls School Board, members of the district’s Facilities Study Committee and the public gathered to talk about a bond referendum that would have raised taxes to build a new elementary school. There were a lot of theories about why it hadn’t passed, but one of the main complaints was that voters didn’t have enough information about the proposed project.
I was stumped (and, to be honest, a little annoyed). For a year and a half, I’d written about the process that led to the March vote. The Times Citizen published more than a dozen stories detailing the conversations and planning that mentioned a future referendum. A huge, above-the-fold headline on the front page of the July 25, 2020 Times Citizen asked “Would you support a school bond?” Online, we made many of those stories free to everyone – no subscription required. But still, people said they didn’t know anything about the bond discussion.